|The new 85-29 cell vs. the old L-16 battery|
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Bringing on the Big Ones!
It has been 10 years that I have been working on Viking Star, Wow...
One of the early decisions was about the electrical system. I decided to go primarily 12v, with a good inverter to cover Hair dryers and the Refrigerator. In researching batteries I compared normal flooded lead-acid, AGM, VR, and even looked at some Telco-type batteries. In the end I decided to go with old-fashioned lead-acid. This was mostly due to cost, and seeing as I have good access to the battery compartment, I could easily keep up on their maintenance.
The other decision was which ones? Golf cart batteries are very popular. I personally like the L-16's better if you have the height. Typically folks look at batteries just by cost per AH (Amp Hour, the amount of energy a battery can 'store'). But if one also puts in the number of cycles a battery is designed for it brings new light. Those golf cart batteries are designed for 3-400 cycles over 4 or so years. The L16's, maybe 6-700 cycles over 7 years or so. In the end I selected Industrial Cells, these guys are designed to give 4,000 cycles over a 20+ life span.
I hade been using two L16 for the past 6 years - that gave us (barely) enough stored electricty for a weekend. Here you can see a picture of the old L16's we have been using for the past 6 years, and one of the new cells. A bit bigger, but should point out the new ones are 2v cells while the L16 is a 6v battery. A more apples-to-apples photo would have 3 of the new cells in comparison to the old L16!
All Ready for the new ones!
Dan the Electric Man!
Half way there (Well, more like 2/3rds...)
Ok, these are a bit over the top. That is true. But one thing I like is quiet. These new batteries should allow us to sit at anchor for 4-5 days without having to run the generator. Then we can recharge the batteries with the main motor in 1 hour of moving the boat for each day we were at anchor.
That is why I picked these batteries.
However, do have to tell ya, if something goes wrong with these beasts - I am selling the boat!